Alice Savage

Her Own Worst Enemy: A serious comedy about choosing a career

ebook, paperback

Drama in the performance of texts is one of the most compelling of language learning resources…This book offers a wealth of preparatory activities, suggestions for varied ways of using the text and helpful suggestions for follow-up.
— Alan Maley

A treasure trove of teaching ideas, covering areas like pronunciation, grammar, pragmatics, discussion themes.
— Charlyn Wessels Dyers, author of Drama in the Oxford Resource Series for Teachers

Her Own Worst Enemy by Alice Savage. Buy direct or wherever you get books, in ebook or paperback.




What are you waiting for? The play’s the thing!

Aida is planning to go to university and study science to get a practical in-demand job.  However, there is a catch: Aida is a talented actress. When a famous theatre school invites her to audition for a spot, Aida’s friends and relatives are excited about the opportunity. Everyone has advice for her, but Aida must make her own decision about her future.

Her Own Worst Enemy is part of the Integrated Skills Through Drama series that teaches speaking and communication skills through the performance of a one-act play. This flexible curriculum is perfect for a class project, elective course, or drama club.

As students prepare to perform the play, they study intonation and pronunciation skills such as sentence and word stress for meaning. They learn about body language and gesture as ways to communicate. They analyze the script as a work of literature and also mine it for language and rhetorical strategies to encourage someone, give advice, tease a friend and respond to teasing and talking through an issue. And they learn to apply those strategies to their performance and to real-life situations. A variety of performance options are featured, including Reader’s Theater.

Background readings discussing the benefits of the Liberal Arts and STEM majors, as well as profiles of a computer programmer and an opera director round out the curriculum. A number of creative writing projects to rewrite the script, adapt the play, or even write a sequel allow you to extend the learning further.

This original drama-based coursebook is sure to engage and motivate your learners

Preview Her Own Worst Enemy

Additional information

Weight 7.4 oz
Dimensions 8.5 x 11 x .25 in



9781948492034, 9781948492126

Publication Date

28 March 2018




72 pages


8.5 x 11 inches



Preview Her Own Worst Enemy

Here are some free downloadable resources you can use with the book. Have you come up with your own great idea for an activity that works with Her Own Worst Enemy? Send it to us. If we use it, we’ll send you a discount coupon good for any of our titles.

Answer Key

Her Own Worst Enemy Answer Key

Extension Ideas

  • How to Organize a Mini-Debate One of the suggestions for post-performance activities in the book is a mini-debate. It’s a great way to have students grapple with the theme of the play, work with language, and practice the pragmatics of persuasion. Suggested topics for Her Own Worst Enemy include:
    • Who should choose what a student majors in? Or what a young person’s career should be?
    • Should you pursue your talents or your interests?
      Should Aida study acting or science?
    • Agree or Disagree: Studying Liberal Arts is a waste of time.
    • Agree or Disagree: Science without a sense of history and ethics is dangerous.
  • How to Do Readers Theater  Reader’s Theater is a great way to practice pronunciation and pragmatics with a minimum of preparation. Students can also being analyzing the script and rehearse for a full-production. Here’s some things to take into consideration as you do Reader’s Theater in class.


From Educators

I tried it with some intermediate students at the end of my conversation class last semester, and my students had a good time playing with the role reversals. They seemed to find value in the process and even met on the weekends to rehearse, which I did not expect. We did the play with script in hand, and they were still able to capture some of the intonation and emotional expressions.

—Amazon Customer

Even students who feel nervous to speak in English, can gain confidence when they have a script in front of them. This text has engaging activities that students of all ages and backgrounds can have fun with.

—A. L., an Amazon buyer

 Students can learn useful language for encouraging and explaining and there is great potential to work on emotional interactions, something few students get to do.

—George Milton Savage, Jr., an Amazon buyer

Her Own Worst Enemy  is a wonderful resource to inspire learners to learn by providing a relevant and interesting topic, a clear context and authentic collaborative tasks. In other words, it helps to address the physical, mental and psychological needs of learners as well as purely linguistic needs.

—Tom Godfrey, Director of International Training Institute, Founder Speech Bubbles Theater

Her Own Worst Enemy is a fun play to produce, but it’s not just a play. It is actually a complete curriculum.  You’ve got all the skills and guidance for adapting it to different levels, language goals, and time frames. Best of all, it offers a dynamic classroom experience. Students and teachers will look forward to coming to class!

—Joy Lindsey, Rice University

This is a really well-structured drama resource that I’m excited to try out in the classroom! There is a real humanistic feel about the author’s approach, with a whole range of activities encouraging learners to share personal responses, explore the emotions of others and really engage with the themes and characters in the play.

— Peter Clements, British Council

Her Own Worst Enemy provides an outstanding creative platform to be used in the English language learning classroom. With a comprehensive and flexible package of supporting materials, educators are encouraged to tailor the lessons to best meet the communicative needs of learners. The specific focus on pragmatics also presents an excellent opportunity for students to identify and practice key skills in one of the more challenging areas of communication.

— Scott Granville, Co-founder, Chasing Time English

Students will have a blast portraying the characters in this comedy about a talented young actress who does not want to act. The story unfolds in a believable way, and the dialogue gives a sense of what really happens when family members and friends try to be “helpful.”

—Jennifer Delapp, ESL teacher and tutor, Denver Colorado

I can say without hesitation that teachers and students will find the series Integrated Skills through Drama, of which this book forms part, a treasure trove of teaching ideas, covering areas like pronunciation, grammar, pragmatics, discussion themes and a host of suggested activities, all built around a short play.

Charlyn Wessels Dyers, Author of Drama in the Oxford Resource Series for Teachers (full review here)

Drama in the performance of texts is one of the most compelling of language learning resources.  It develops pronunciation, grammar and conversational skills, provides spin-off into writing, offers unlimited repetition without boredom—and most importantly, fosters the creation of a learning community through co-operative ensemble work.  This book offers a wealth of preparatory activities, suggestions for varied ways of using the text and helpful suggestions for follow-up.  What are we waiting for? “The play’s the thing . . .”

  —Alan Maley

From Students

It was a good experience to improve my English. It was fun to work in teams with my partners.

It is so funny!! I liked the project because I interacted with my classmates.

The intonation of the words is very important and you helped us so much with getting the right intonation. I also enjoyed the character.

It was a good way of learn my pronunciation and we can do different things.

I enjoyed my role and everything about the play because I had the opportunity to practice the language and meet outside with my classmates.

I liked listening to the real actors. I want to act like them but it is hard, but I play it in my car and I repeat after them and that is very good practice for me.

It was very exciting. I liked it so much because we had the opportunity to work together and the play was great. Also, we worked so hard to find all the things for the scenes like the furniture and the pictures of New York and Julliard and we made a TV from a box and also the sides of the car from cardboard. I love designing, so that was best for me. Also I like it a lot since it was my first time in an English play.

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